Trump adviser apologizes
Trudeau on Trump: We support North Korea efforts, won’t engage on comments
OTTAWA — Donald Trump’s trade adviser is apologizing for saying there’s a “special place in hell” for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau because of his “bad-faith diplomacy” during the G7 summit in Quebec.
Peter Navarro says his job was to send a “signal of strength” after Trudeau’s post- G7 news conference sent the U.S. president into a fit of pique that threw the summit into disarray.
However, Navarro says he used inappropriate language in trying to convey that message.
He made the apology — something that former U.S. ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman, among others, was demanding that he do — during a Wall Street Journal event Tuesday in Washington.
Earlier, Trump elaborated on his abrupt Twitter outburst as he departed the summit Saturday, telling a news conference in Singapore that Trudeau’ s assertion that Canada “will not be pushed around” would end up costing Canadians “a lot of money.”
Earlier today, Trudeau cheered Trump’s bid to broker a deal to rid the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons, but he stayed mum on the U.S. administration’s persistent trash talk.
Navarro, for his part, suggested that he was following orders — but made a poor choice of words in doing so. “My job was to send a signal of strength,” he said. “The problem was that in conveying that message I used language that was inappropriate.
“I own that, that was my mistake, those were my words.”
Trudeau said the Liberal government looks forward to the details of the agreement that emerged from Monday’s historic meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“We support the continuing efforts by the president on North Korea, (and) we look forward to looking at the details of the agreement,” Trudeau said.
“On (Trump’s) comments, I’m going to stay focused on defending jobs for Canadians and supporting Canadian interests.”
Trump took to Twitter aboard Air Force 1 on Saturday to call Trudeau “dishonest” and “weak” after seeing Trudeau’s G7 news conference, when the prime minister said he had pushed back against the Trump administration’s hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum.
Trump says he watched that news conference on his way to Singapore, and was upset because he thought he and Trudeau had had a positive meeting in Charlevoix.
Trump says Trudeau “probably didn’t know that Air Force 1 has about 20 televisions.
“I see the television and he’s giving a news conference about how he ‘will not be pushed around’ by the United States. And I say, ‘Push him around? We just shook hands!’ ” Trump said.
“We finished the (G7) meeting and really everybody was happy.”
Trump has consistently railed against what he claims are unfair trade practices by some of America’s biggest trade partners, including Canada — in particular Canada’s supply management system, which levels tariffs of up to 300 per cent on imported dairy products.
“It’s very unfair to our farmers, and it’s very unfair to the people of our country,” he said. “It’s very unfair, and it’s very unfair to our workers, and I’m gonna straighten it out. And it won’t even be tough.”
On Monday, MPs in the House of Commons approved a motion denouncing Trump’s name-calling tirade and endorsing Trudeau’s decision to stand his ground against U.S. tariffs and tweeted presidential threats.
The motion calls on the House to recognize the importance of Canada’s “long-standing, mutually beneficial trading relationship” with the U.S., “strongly oppose” the “illegitimate tariffs” imposed on steel and aluminum, stand “in solidarity” with the Trudeau government’s decision to impose retaliatory tariffs and remain united in support of the supply management system of regulating Canada’s dairy and poultry industry.
And it concludes with a direct shot at Trump, calling on the House to “reject disparaging and ad hominem statements by U.S. officials which do a disservice to bilateral relations and work against efforts to resolve this trade dispute.”
Former Conservative cabinet minister James Moore, a member of the government’s advisory group on NAFTA, hailed Trudeau’s approach, refusing to react to “the noise, the bluster, the Twitter, the emotional outbursts.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rises during question period on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday.